Labour has pledged to put “creativity at the heart of the school curriculum” in a series of policy announcements that coincided with a gathering of artists, actors, teachers and arts leaders convened by Prince Charles to address the subject.
About 200 people, including Benedict Cumberbatch, Lenny Henry, Vivienne Westwood and Andrew Lloyd Webber were at the Royal Albert Hall to support a campaign to promote arts and creativity in schools.
Rosie Millard, the former BBC journalist who is chief executive of the prince’s Children and the Arts charity said the event was the next step in a campaign to “stop the general slide of arts and creativity in schools”.
She stated that “the prince is very concerned” and wanted to “bring together people to whom this matters” but he cannot get involved in the politics of the issue and many people in the arts and education sectors see the problem as political. They are unhappy with the lack of compulsory arts subjects in the new English baccalaureate and funding cuts to local authorities.
After the event, Tom Watson, Labour’s deputy leader and shadow culture secretary, said every child, no matter what their background, should be able to access the arts. He has said that Labour would introduce a new arts premium to every primary school and review the Ebacc performance measures to make sure the arts were not sidelined.